None of my life plans were working.

I was twenty-three years old with very little hope and a half-formed dream of maybe, one day, if I even could, I’d be a writer. I imagined myself being heavily involved with my family, one day settling down, getting married, and having a book or two published. If I had the time to write, that is. I was a very busy woman.

Then I got sick. Really sick. (You can hear my full story here). I had to quit all 3 of my part-time jobs and I couldn’t leave the house for more than an hour. I had all the time in the world to write, yet I found I still couldn’t finish anything. None of the projects I’d spent the past seven years on had a complete plot or storyline. I needed help.

I found an online writing summit hosted by Storyembers. I sat down for the first class on our gray couch in the living room, a brand-new notebook in one hand and a pen in the other. The first class started with a word from the summit’s sponsor…

That’s when I was first introduced to Brad Pauquette.

He told us about his school, where he taught writers in two years, what it would’ve taken me to learn in ten.

As he spoke about it, I felt that quiet but firm press on my heart from God. My life had been officially hijacked.

From there, I applied, got accepted, and, within three months, was on a plane to Ohio.

I had no idea what to expect coming to a vocational writing school. I was scared, excited, and all sorts of nervous. What sort of teacher would he be? Would it be academic? With lots of big words I didn’t know. Would I be expected to be able to talk with my nose in the air about lots of theoretical concepts that I didn’t actually understand?

When would they figure out I was sort of an idiot and didn’t belong here?

The Assignment that changed it all…

Within two months into the program, I had an assignment that I didn’t fully understand. I completed it to the best of my ability and then realized that I’d done it wrong. With my tail tucked between my legs, I nervously approached Brad. I told him I’d messed up and needed a more thorough explanation of what I was supposed to be doing. I steeled myself for him to imply that I was an idiot. To be given a thorough and stern lecture.

“Sure,” he said with a grin. “Just let me grab some coffee.”

We sat down at the table with our steaming mugs, and together, we went over the assignment. I was completely and totally overwhelmed with how casual the conversation was. How he genuinely cared for me to understand instead of just checking off the assignment and “getting a good grade”.

I finished up the assignment, and as I turned it in, I awkwardly thanked him for not calling me an idiot and ran off.

The Novel Matrix

That’s when I realized what sort of teacher Brad was. He’s not some boring, dull professor who snootily pushes his glasses up his nose and sneers down at you for not understanding abstract theories on writing.

His book, The Novel Matrix, which is an accumulation of everything I’ve learned at school, is written in his voice. Sitting down with this book is like sitting down with Brad, a cup of coffee in your hand, and a kind voice guiding you through the process.

Before I came to the school and learned The Novel Matrix, the last project I had finished was the silly little novella I’d written when I was thirteen. It had been my first real project. By the time the story was done and I went back to the first chapter, I realized something horrible.

It was garbage. It needed a complete rewrite. From there, I jumped to many different projects, always dreaming of finishing one and never actually finishing it. I found too many problems with the writing; the plot was never good enough, and despite my best efforts, I rarely had a solid ending in mind.

But that changed when Brad taught me The Novel Matrix.  

Now, I’ve finished two complete novels and have a third on the way—but more important than that, I understand the story I’m trying to tell. I can confidently talk about each project, and I can see the value of each book I’ve written.

Writing is complicated…but it doesn’t have to be.

There’s lots of writing advice out there. Some of it is good, a lot of it is bad, and all of it is hard to sort through. Do you want to be a writer? Get yourself The Novel Matrix. It’s not academically written with long, complicated words and dull educational prose. It’s just some guy from Ohio, sitting down with you over a cup of coffee, guiding you toward your purpose to write a truly great book.

Check out how cool this book looks!

Don’t just take my word for it. Go check out the book on Amazon (here’s the link!) It will truly change your writing.


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